Pakistan: Blast at mosque after Friday prayers killed kills 4 in Quetta

17th Aug 2019
Pakistan: Blast at mosque after Friday prayers killed kills 4 in Quetta

By Aamir Latif

 

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA): An explosion at a mosque in southwest Pakistan killed at least four people and injured 20 others, police and local media reported.

Latest in a series of similar attacks, the explosion took place after Friday prayers in the main hall of Al Haj Mosque in suburban Kuchlak town of Quetta, the capital of southwestern Balochistan province, local broadcaster Geo News reported quoting police officials.

Police said the imam of the mosque, located in the town of Kuchlak some 25km from Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, was killed in the explosion.

“The blast was carried out through a timed device that was planted under the wooden chair of the prayer leader,” Quetta’s chief of police Abdul Razzaq Chmeea told Reuters news agency.

The brother of the leader Haibatullah Akhundzada, the Afghan Taliban,  Hafiz Ahmadullah, was among those killed, two Taliban sources told Reuters, an attack that could affect efforts to end the Afghan war.

Initial reports suggested it was a time device blast and no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Pictures aired by Geo News showed the prayer hall was strewn with pieces of broken windows and glasses, blood-soaked caps, and other belongings.

The large Balochistan province, which is also considered to cover parts of neighboring Iran and Afghanistan, is strategically important due to its rich copper, zinc and natural gas reserves.

Over the course of the last decade, the province — especially capital Quetta — has faced a deadly wave of sectarian violence in which over 2,200 people have been killed.

The province is also a key route of $64 billion mega-project, Pakistan-China Economic Corridor (PCEC), which aims to connect China’s strategically important northwestern Xinxiang province to Balochistan’s Gwadar port through a network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport cargo, oil and gas.

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Photo: People of Killi Qasim area of Kuchlak gather in the ‘Alhaj Mosque” after the bomb blast, some 25 km of city of Quetta Pakistan. Photographer: Mazhar Chandio/AA]

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